Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Kevin Wright  
Saturday, April 12th 2014
Created: Apr 12th 6:52 am
2 Moderate Alpine / Above 2,500' Travel Advice: Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
1 Low Treeline / 1,000'-2,500' Travel Advice: Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
1 Low Below Treeline / Below 1,000' Travel Advice: Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
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The Hoarding Marmot
Special Announcement

Lost Lake, Primrose, and Resurrection pass trail have closed to snowmachines due to inadequate snow cover.  Check the bottom of this page for the latest information on motorized areas.  

The Bottom Line

A change in the weather will be changing the snow stability today.  Look for pockets of MODERATE  avalanche danger as wind slabs build above treeline.  Shaded northerly aspects are holding plenty of soft snow that can be blown around by today's forecasted wind.  


Primary Concern

Most of the sunny faces (south, east, and west) are crusty at the surface.  This is not the case for north faces, which hold 6+ inches of soft snow.  With forecasted wind today, that soft snow may build into slabs of unstable snow.  This morning the biggest danger is probably just loose snow sluffing, but after the wind kicks up that will change to smaller pockets of wind slab.  

Any freshly formed wind slab will be poorly bonded to the snow underneath.  Expect it to be hair trigger today if you approach any steep terrain.

By tomorrow this wind slab may be joined with fresh storm snow, but that snowfall is not expected to be significant today.  

The photo below shows distribution of sun crusted terrain.  The bowl is west facing, the slopes on the left face south, the slopes on the right face north.  Everything left of the black line has a surface crust.  Everything right of the line is soft and loose.

Mountain Weather

Clouds have taken over our previously sunny skies.  A chance of rain and snow is possible today, with very little accumulation expected.  Wind will increase, look for ridgetop wind to hit 15-30mph today and 25-45mph tonight from the southeast.  Temperatures will reach the high 30s during the day and drop to the high 20s at night.

Precipitation is likely to increase on Sunday with snowfall accumulating.  Total depths are not expected to exceed about 6 inches in the mountains, but stay tuned as those numbers get updated.  

Latest infrared satellite image.

This is a general backcountry avalanche advisory issued for Turnagain Arm with Turnagain Pass as the core advisory area (this advisory does not apply to highways, railroads, or operating ski areas).

Winter snowmachine use open/closed status and riding conditions updates

Riding status is not associated with avalanche danger. An area will be open to motorized use in accordance to the Forest Management Plan when snow coverage is adequate to protect underlying vegetation. Backcountry hazards including avalanche hazard are always present regardless of the open status of motorized use areas.

(Updated: Dec 08, 2017 )

Glacier District
Johnson Pass: Closed
Placer River: Closed
Skookum Drainage: Closed
Turnagain Pass: ClosedRain and snow have fallen in Turnagain Pass this week, but not enough to open for snowmachining. Continue to check back to this site for updates.
Twentymile: Closed
Seward District
Carter Lake: Closed
Lost Lake Trail: Closed
Primrose Trail: Closed
Resurrection Pass Trail: ClosedResurrection Pass trail is expected to open to snowmachine use during the 2017/18 winter season.
Snug Harbor: Closed
South Fork Snow River Corridor: Closed
Summit Lake: Closed

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The information in this advisory is from the U.S. Forest Service, which is solely responsible for its content. This advisory describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur. This advisory provided by the Chugach National Forest, in partnership with Friends of the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center.

If you have comments or questions regarding CNFAIC operations or winter recreation management, please email
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